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AC imposes 'no fly' ban, demands $18K from woman after ticket scam

AC imposes 'no fly' ban, demands $18K from woman after ticket scam

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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:06 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post

As for the excuse I was just buying on line..come on, really?
The doe-eyed ingenue bit only goes so far. I find it hard to believe someone is gullible enough to fall for a scam like this. Lord, even my 86 year old mother wouldn't fall for this.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
No sympathy. She knew she wasn't an AC employee so she shouldn't have even considered attempting to fly on employee discount tickets...
A bit of a Devil's Advocate to this point... Is it up to this lady to know the rules for employee discount tickets? How am I, the purchaser, supposed to know if AC rules permit employees to sell re-tickets? I bet every airline has different intricacies in terms of who is allowed to travel with and when.

Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Employee tickets are meant for employees.


Edit: Not always, and that's sort of my point. The name implies employee only but I know some AS employees who are allowed to share with family. I know someone who was put on the AA list as an authorized user for flight benefits (not married or family).


I say the employee was the one taking the risk with his/her career it sounds like, so just fire them, ban this lady, and move on.

Last edited by Gig103; Jun 4, 19 at 10:36 am Reason: Adding second quote.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:36 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
A bit of a Devil's Advocate to this point... Is it up to this lady to know the rules for employee discount tickets? How am I, the purchaser, supposed to know if AC rules permit employees to sell re-tickets? I bet every airline has different intricacies in terms of who is allowed to travel with and when.

I say the employee was the one taking the risk with his/her career it sounds like, so just fire them, ban this lady, and move on.
From what I understood reading the article, the WeChat fraudster wasn't an employee. The fraudster used "employee discount" as a guise. At least, that's how I understand it.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:40 am
  #19  
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I really dont see a big deal here... Banned from AC? ok... boo hoo... like its the only airline in the world that flies to China?

The repayment is another issue. AC is reaching here, and how do they propose collecting this?
Shouldnt they go after the person that bought the tickets with a stolen credit card in the first place?
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:42 am
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
From what I understood reading the article, the WeChat fraudster wasn't an employee. The fraudster used "employee discount" as a guise. At least, that's how I understand it.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. That makes more sense than an actual employee selling their benefits. But c'mon then, it was just normal CC fraud and should be between AC, Visa, and their investigators and insurance. Sometimes "too good to be true" can be true; I paid $2200 to Orbitz for a DL business class flight + 7 nights in a Prague 4* hotel. Normally it's approx $5500 for just J flights TATL from Phoenix, but I happened upon a deal. Yes that's an OTA I've heard of, but I've also an unknown TA to get 50% off a hotel (found via Trivago) and that was legit too.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:42 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Employee tickets are meant for employees.


Car dealerships offer "employee pricing" all the time. Its obvious to me that an employee ticket is free and non-transferable, but I don't think that is obvious to the general population.

I wonder if perhaps a cultural thing. Is it normal to haggle for big ticket commercially produced items/services down to 50% of the cost in Asia? I don't know. Sure, haggle in the market, but the price of a corporate supplied thing is the price, no?

It wasn't "buying online", it was "digging into a chatroom and soliciting deals". If those deals were scammy or impossible or normal, to her, depends on a cultural perspective I don't have.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:42 am
  #22  
 
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if it looks too good to be true ....

But there's lots of people out there who are always looking for some kind of angle and a corresponding group happy to oblige and take their money. There's some pretty shady dealings on things like WhatsApp & WeChat.

I wonder how long it was going to be before she paid for a ticket and never got anything in return?

Last edited by Bohemian1; Jun 4, 19 at 10:49 am Reason: A Kinder, Gentler Post
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by J. Leslie View Post
It seems to me that she was quite willing to participate in a fraud (employee discount) and is now upset that the fraud actually perpetuated was different.
Zero sympathy here.
Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Ok, I will take you word for it. I would think the attempt to scam is common, but the number of people who actually fall for it? Not sure...oh what the heck, how can I underestimate how stupid people get in pursuit of a bargain?
Originally Posted by m.y View Post
She bought a ticket from anonymous person online as opposed to from a family or friend who is actually an employee. These scams are not uncommon at all.
Something to consider... in China, this would not be a second look type thing... People buy things for others using their benefits all the time. It happens here too (although less often). How many times have we seen "Hey, your SO works at [INSERT TV COMPANY HERE]... I'm finishing my mancave... can you set me up with an 80" TV?" Buying something so expensive from a stranger worries me, but I could see it...

As for through wechat, it's no different from us and ebay or Amazon. Did she take the usual precautions (eg, verified account, customer testimonials), we'll never know. wechat does require a valid phone number to create an account... not sure if it would help investigators or not.

Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
Not an unreasonable opinion BUT I think the case is more akin to unknowingly depositing a bad cheque, spending the money, the bank reversing the deposit and the depositor having to make good on the bad cheque. The bank is within its rights to do exactly that and the depositor's action is against the person issuing the bad cheque. Similar here, AC is right to claim against the person passing the bad ticket - that person then has to go after the entity that provided them that bad ticket. Might seem unfair but I do believe legally AC's action is proper - may not be good PR though; and similarly for banks, they MAY take the loss for bad cheques in certain circumstances.
One thing that is curious though... is AC going through the forensic data (eg, buyer's IP address) to track things down? If they were serious, they would have engaged the (alleged) victim after hearing her side and at least trying to identify the fraudster (who will likely attempt this again with another victim(s). Letting her tip off the fraudster seems very amateurish... I would suspect that AC has a substantial fraud/crime investigation team.

Or they were being lazy about it.

Doesn't justify what the victim did, but also doesn't excuse AC.

Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Not sure we have people falling "all the time" for these kind of frauds and scams. This one hits the news because it is unusual in scope and the multiple trips issue involved.
As I mentioned above, we're thinking about this from a "western" point of view. Agreed this is something we don't see very often, but with the chinese apps coming into play here, I suspect this is just the first of many... I'm seeing Unionpay/wechat pay and alipay show up more and more in the stores here. I'm sure all these pay processors would be interested in participating in investigations... reputational risk and all.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If she or her family are wealthy enough for her to not only study abroad but also fly TPAC in business class, she/they can pay what she owes for the flights she fraudulently took.

BTW, what sort of university in Canada offers programs in how to become a pasty chef and obtains student visas for such stuff? She should be in a trade school program that lasts months rather than years, with a student visa of appropriate length for the course she is "studying."

Even if it's a civil matter, if she refuses to pay, can she be deported?
I'm not sure how she would be able to identify the person as an AC employee or not. Also some of the nuances of the english language don't translate too well into chinese (eg, you go into some of the malls here in the GTA and you see posters proclaiming employee-price sales...doesn't help with the confusion).

As for post-secondary institutes, there are a few... Culinary Arts School of Ontario (Private).... Centennial College has whole food programs.... I think Humber as well.

Deporting her, not likely. This is a civil matter. Unless they are going to accuse her of fraud over $5000 (although now that this is in public with a story, much harder to do this).

Originally Posted by BlondeBomber View Post
While I think there is overreach by Air Canada here, I have no sympathy for the purchaser. "Employee discount" should have been one of the first clues that this was off market and shady. A lesson learned. Everyone should move on. AC will probably settle for nothing in the end but they have made their point and caused enough pain to get the word out. Makes them look like a bully though.
I would agree that the idiom(?) If it's too good to be true... but I can see this easily happening. I do think that Air Canada bungled this though. Instead of going after the potential fraudster (and likely source of more), they just went after the end user. As BlondeBomber said, it makes them look like bullies. With their resources (and Tencent's resources), I'm pretty sure they could have gone after the fraudster and caught them. It isn't in either's best interests to just go after the "endpoint" victim.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:44 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. That makes more sense than an actual employee selling their benefits. But c'mon then, it was just normal CC fraud and should be between AC, Visa, and their investigators and insurance. Sometimes "too good to be true" can be true; I paid $2200 to Orbitz for a DL business class flight + 7 nights in a Prague 4* hotel. Normally it's approx $5500 for just J flights TATL from Phoenix, but I happened upon a deal. Yes that's an OTA I've heard of, but I've also an unknown TA to get 50% off a hotel (found via Trivago) and that was legit too.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you...
Just telling you how I understood it.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:44 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
No sympathy. She knew she wasn't an AC employee so she shouldn't have even considered attempting to fly on employee discount tickets....
Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Knowingly buying "Employee Discount" tickets for half face value is a complete giveaway and it is clear she was aware that there was a fraud going on, even if she wasn't the instigator of the fraud.
I suppose none of you guys have ever fallen for this fraud:
https://www.sherwoodford.ca/blog/whe...loyee-pricing/
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:45 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
Car dealerships offer "employee pricing" all the time. Its obvious to me that an employee ticket is free and non-transferable, but I don't think that is obvious to the general population.

I wonder if perhaps a cultural thing. Is it normal to haggle for big ticket commercially produced items/services down to 50% of the cost in Asia? I don't know. Sure, haggle in the market, but the price of a corporate supplied thing is the price, no?

It wasn't "buying online", it was "digging into a chatroom and soliciting deals". If those deals were scammy or impossible or normal, to her, depends on a cultural perspective I don't have.
Haggling down airline tickets is not a cultural thing in Asia. As for using websites to buy and sell items of a dubious nature, those are ubiquitous globally.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:47 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
if it looks too good to be true ....

But there's lots of people out there who are always looking for some mind of angle and a corresponding group happy to oblige and take their money. There's some pretty shady dealings on things like WhatsApp.

I wonder how long it was going to be before she paid for a ticket and never got anything in return?
Yep. And once in awhile you will read in the daily local or national news about people such as the elderly getting scammed by phone fraudsters or whatever.
It. Happens. All. The. Time.
And. There. Will. Always. Be. Someone. Falling. For It.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:47 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
I suppose none of you guys have ever fallen for this fraud:
https://www.sherwoodford.ca/blog/whe...loyee-pricing/
Come on now. I really hope your posting was tongue in cheek and not serious.

So called employee pricing on automobiles is a marketing gimmick well advertised on legitimate media and at dealerships. If you can't figure out the difference between that and buying "special" tickets on Wechat, then there's not much more I can say.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
I wonder if perhaps a cultural thing. Is it normal to haggle for big ticket commercially produced items/services down to 50% of the cost in Asia? I don't know. Sure, haggle in the market, but the price of a corporate supplied thing is the price, no?
Haggling is common in Asia. Depending on the product you can even go down to 20%. In touristy areas, many if not most prices are hyper inflated. Although personally, for a commercially available product, this would tingle my spidey-senses... And I don't fly anywhere near the amount most of you do. 10% or maybe 20% off, but not 50% for a plane ticket in J... but then again, I would also have done enough research against multiple airlines/flights to know if the price is too far off the mark.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:50 am
  #30  
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She transacted fraudulently-issued tickets. So, she owes AC. It is up to her to collect the money from the original seller. Until she pays what she owes, AC will not throw good money after bad.

Seems simple and doesn't require an analysis of what she knew and when.

Good on AC. This isn't petty fraud and the cost is ultimately carried by honest passengers.
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